A bulb is a short stem that contains food reserves that helps it survive difficult weather conditions. Plant growth occurs at the base and the roots will eventually form on the underside of this base. There is a growing point or expanded shoot in the center of the bulb where new stems and leaves appear out the top. When the leaves appear you know the flowering will soon begin!
There are two types of bulbs, fall planted bulbs and spring planted bulbs. The fall planted bulbs assure us that spring has arrived. Some bloom even when there is still snow on the ground! You need to plan ahead and plant these bulbs in the fall. For long lasting spring colors, it is best to choose a variety, such as some early and some mid and late season bulbs. For a brilliant burst of dramatic color, plant bulbs in masses. Some of the best and most beautiful fall planted bulbs are tulip, daffodil, hyacinth, and crocus.
The spring planted bulbs include tender bulbs like gladiolas and dahlias. They produce some gorgeous colors when tucked among your perennials or planted in mass by a porch or deck. They add a new dimension and liven up any garden area; also great for containers. If you are looking for a larger plant, try the elephant ear (Caladium). Need flowers for a shaded area? Begonias are perfect and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. The bulb selection is endless, so plan accordingly, and you will have a fantastic landscape with little effort.